Cape Cod is an elbow of sand. A gift from the last glaciation 15,000 years ago. It is a part of the very wonderful area of the United States known as New England, jutting out into the ocean as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is a place by itself a wonder, yet at the same time containing distinct areas of itself which are polar opposites. It is one of my favorite places I have ever seen. Why? I have found only a few places I have visited so far in my life where the emotional connection combined with the serene feeling that I was somehow “home”… Which of these two images do you prefer? They were taken at the exact same spot on Chapin Beach in Dennis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Chapin Beach July 2003
Chapin Beach January 2004
Winter fades to Spring which turns to Summer as the land comes alive in the process. In these two images are why I love New England. The arctic looking frozen beach to a warm July evening. Every season has its beauty and the balance is stunning. Each season is nature’s way.
Cape Cod is special. You arrive down Route 3 or perhaps Interstate 25 from 495. You then cross one of the towering bridges over the Cape Cod Canal. Monuments they are. They are reminding you that you may still be in Massachusetts after you cross, but your state of mind will be of something which you can find nowhere else.
The Sagamore Bridge
The Bourne Bridge
Cape Cod has many distinct areas. Moving from West to East then North…There is relaxing Falmouth,the bustle of Hyannis and the Kennedy History……the peaceful charm of old Cape Cod in the Dennis and Brewster area to the wealthy town of Chatham at the elbow of the Cape.
As you are turning North in the peaceful town of Orleans you venture along the Cape Cod National Seashore. The National Seashore was created in August of 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. It was not a popular move by locals at the time. However, 53 years late and a deluge of development along the East Coast, it is 40 miles of unspoiled Atlantic facing coastline. Mr. Kennedy seemed to understand and love this piece of Earth like many. Instead of ceaseless development erasing nature from any possible logical connection to the landscape you have scenes that look like this in places:
The Cape then ends at Provincetown. It is a world within many worlds and of itself. You sit in an Atlantic Ocean deluge of contentedness. Perhaps in a chair along the beach or small restaurant. You gaze out at the glimmering blue in the brilliant summer Sun. The breeze is New England’s natural air conditioner, sheltering it from the intense heat of other areas of the country. Provincetown is a wind of its own. Tolerant, respectful. accepting, relaxing. These feelings prevalent on its narrow streets and closely built houses older than many states.
So is the Cape a favorite place of mine? Yes. However, there is one area that to me, is where the heart of the Cape beats the strongest, and you feel so alive. It is Dennis, Mass. More exact, West Dennis. Why? My family went to the Cape every summer, as my grandparents started doing in the 1950s. At the same rented 2 story house a quarter mile away from the dunes of Chapin Beach.
The ground felt different. The air smelled different. The trees were different. The world moved slower. The roar of the Ocean nearby. This was, and still is, Dennis, Mass. The place where sunsets are a starburst of color, as the waning day of July seems like an Endless Summer Night (Thanks Richard Marx circa 1988).
This area will hypnotize you. You will be in a dream. Awake at the same time, and thanking everyone and thing you are. To me, it is this prose:
I began to walk towards the ocean. On the hot blacktop in bare feet on a warm July afternoon. The road wrapped in serenity descended gently to the sand dunes, leading to my anticipation. I wanted the waves to hit me for the sake of being alive. I was swift in descending down the road by white picket fences, pine trees, and a maple mitigated in its growth by the proximity to the salty air and marginal soil. Regardless, my concern lay beyond the dunes. A slight breeze kissed my soul as I neared the dune and the compelling drive for more led my eyes to the blue goddess spanning the horizon. The beach sand, glimmering like little stars. set against the sapphire blue of the sky. Piercing my reality with expansion. The knowing that there is more out there. There are places to see. And sometimes, you swear these places were you and me.
I hope anyone of you reading has a place like this on our very special planet. One we must take care of.
Thank you for reading.